Richard Commey vs Teofimo Lopez Jr. Preview Dec. 14th
IBF Lightweight Champion Richard Commey of Accra, Ghana takes on unbeaten Teofimo Lopez of Brooklyn, at Madison Square Garden in New York City this Saturday, December 14th. The 12-round bout can be seen live in the USA on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and on TSN 3 in Canada. Commey won the vacant title the with a second-round stoppage over Isa Chaniev in February and then stopped Ray Beltran in the eighth round in his first defence in June. Lopez last fought in July when he beat Masayoshi Nakatani by 12-round unanimous decision.
Commey vs Lopez Jr. Betting Odds
- Richard Commey +181
- Teofimo Lopez Jr. -211
Commey is now 32 years old and enters the fight with a mark of 29-2 with 26 Kos. He won the IBF crown in his second shot at the title as he fought Robert Easter for the vacant belt in 2016 and dropped him in the eighth round but lost a split decision. His other career loss came three months later when he dropped another split decision, this time to Denis Shafikov. However, he had no problem against and Beltran earlier this year when he captured the belt with an early KO and then defended it.
Commey turned pro in 2011 and has boxed 171 rounds since then. He’ obviously got some power as 26 of his 29 wins have been by stoppage and his current knockout ratio is an impressive 83.9 per cent. He’s just 5-feet-8-inches tall with a reach of 71 inches and his biggest wins have been against the likes of Chaniev, Beltran, Bilal Mohammad, Gary Buckland and Yardley Cruz. Since turning pro, Commey has won the Ghanaian, IBF Continental Africa, African Boxing Union, Commonwealth, IBF Inter-Continental, and WBC International Silver Lightweight Titles.
The 22-year-old Lopez stopped European Lightweight Champion Edis Tatli in the fourth round in April to defend his NABF Lightweight Title and earlier in his career he won the WBC Continental Americas, USBA, and NABA-USA Lightweight Belts. He’s widely regarded as one of the sport’s top prospects right now due to his whirlwind, non-stop style in the ring but struggled against Nakatani in his last outing. Still, he has a perfect mark of 14-0 with 11 Kos to his name.
Lopez has good power for sure with a current knockout ratio of 78.6 per cent but isn’t really a one-punch KO artist as he usually stops opponents with the sheer volume of punches he throws. Lopez stands 5-feet-8-inches tall with a wingspan of 68.5 inches so is the same height as Commey but gives up 2.5 inches in reach to the champion. Lopez turned pro in November of 2016 and has fought just 58 rounds since.
He enjoyed a fine amateur career and fought for Honduras at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where he lost in the first round of the competition. He’s a former national Golden Gloves Champion and has had no problem adapting to pro boxing. Lopez simply likes to overwhelm his opponents with as many punches as possible and so far has beaten the likes of Nakatani, Tatli, Diego Magdaleno, Mason Menard, William Silva, Vitor Jones, Juan Pablo Sanchez and Francisco Medel.
Although Commey has been pretty successful against Grade B opponents, he struggled somewhat when stepping up in class against Easter and Shafikov and fell just short. He’s got power and skills for a small lightweight though and will need a solid chin against Lopez. I think if Commey can withstand the pressure and utilize his power and boxing skills he should be able to take Lopez into deep water. Lopez is an extremely talented and confident young man though with power of his own and is 10 years younger than Commey. Lopez’s chin could be tested by Commey’s right hand and this is his chance to prove he’s been worthy of all the hype and praise heaped upon him. This is an interesting matchup and Lopez’s big chance to prove he’s legitimate. It won’t be easy, but he should have enough energy to lift the title from Commey.
Commey is 10 years younger and has something to prove.
Play: Lopez Jr. -211 @ BetOnline.ag
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